The TLC Diet - Heart Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Author: Marsha Hallet
Published: June 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm

The TLC Diet was created by the National Institute of Health's National Cholesterol Education Program. This diet focuses on cardiovascular health, not weight loss. It is aimed at people who may be able to lower their cholesterol through changes in their diet.

The US government is a treasure trove of information regarding diet and health. An 85 page booklet entitled "Lowering Your Cholesterol with TLC" is downloadable for free. But of course, nothing is really free, because this diet takes time to decipher and effort to follow.

The main tenant of the TLC diet is that you reduce your intake of saturated fats.Now we all know what those are, fats that are solid at room temperatures like butter, whole milk products, fatty meats and poultry with the skin on. TLC suggests that less than 7 percent of your daily calories come from saturated fat. The booklet includes a table (box 11, p.11) that shows what 6 percent of daily fat intake looks like for different calorie levels.

So far so good.  But initially you must consult the table to figure out, for example, that if you are on a maintenance diet and consume 1800 calories a day you can eat 12 grams of saturated fat.  A second problem is how do you measure 12 grams of saturated fat?  If you only eat packaged food, the nutritional label will give you the information you need. Otherwise, it is a lot harder.  If you like butter, you can do the math.  One stick of Challenge butter is 113 grams which is divided into 8 Tbsp, so 1Tbsp is equal to 14 grams. Yikes, you cannot butter toast and be on the TLC diet.

And if you think that is complicated and restrictive, the TLC Diet says you need to limit your intake of cholesterol to less than 200mg a day. A review of the diet in US News, says that is 2 oz of cheese, and the Mayo Clinic measures one large egg at 213mg of cholesterol.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Marsha Hallet

My blog is about daily behavior changes you can make for better nutrition. The focus is on food knowledge, healthy diets, and healthy recipes. A section "Food for Thought" has topics related to social media's impact on high profile criminal cases.

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